Ruth Bader Ginsburg: In Retrospect
Last night, I posted on social media “#RipRBG, even if you did not like her opinions, she was a great judge.” Little did I realize the number of illiterate people in the United States, those who do not know the meaning of great. Great is a synonym for distinguished, the English evolution of the Latin term Literae Humaniores. When I woke up this morning, my social media feed was full of vitriol, which is not unusual; however, today it was populated by hate mail from alleged conservatives.
I have no love for Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. I believe she is the author of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of deaths by her continued support of abortion and her prevention of regular Americans from having the means to defend themselves. But that does not mean that she was not distinguished. This death is but the latest example of how we vilify and canonize everyone famous when they die. In death, their lives, the sum of their existence, is boiled down to one or two talking points so that political neophytes can act as if they have been “woke, the whole time.”
Morality of Judgement
Judges in the United States are not supposed to follow the whims of the people. This simple statement stands as an anathema to the new American belief that we are precious little snowflakes and the world revolves around us and our lives. While our system is broken, the original framers had a well designed system. The president makes near term decisions, the Congress and Senate then make the longer term decisions. The Courts are a final arbiter, looking at the longitudinal effects of decisions.
The effect of this system is that the president’s decisions are the decisions most swayed by emotion. The congress follows near behind with the two year terms. One of the broken elements is the senate, who are supposed to represent the states but have not since the direct election of senators. They were to be a legislative bulwark against mob rule. Judges were yet another safety valve, a position to ensure that the mob did not take away the rights of people through legislative or executive fiat.
This does not mesh well with the modern mentality that every decision should be controlled by the polls. When the mob loves something or hates something, or even when it is divided, the mob wants its opinions to be law. This is not the way a republic works. The law needs to be administered based on the law. Bad law can be changed but there are very few people whose “opinions” matter in relation to the law, and we call them judges. Good ones get promoted, bad ones get removed. RBG, whether you like her or not, had enough people who thought she was a good judge (which I do not agree with) to be elevated to the Supreme Court. (For those of you who do not remember, 40 Republicans voted to confirm RBG).
Animalization of the Populous
While the common system of people wanting to get their own way is not bad on its face, in the modern era it has become a dangerous phenomenon. Now when people do not get their own way, or when the media tells them to, they take to the street burning buildings, protesting and blocking roads. Like spoiled children throwing tantrums in the aisle of a department store, we are seeing the de-evolution of society, as adults act like children when they do not get their own way.
One of the chief enablers of this is the social media culture we have created. People can hide behind digital personas and pseudonyms while they spew vitriol and hate from their phones and laptops. Political opinions become sacrosanct to the writer, and those who challenge it will feel the wrath of their followers. So to adults, no real bad effect. The 20 or so people who blocked me this morning for acknowledging the death of a Supreme Court justice will not be missed.
Being Adults in a World without Class
It is often noted that children are mean. They pick on each other, they tease each other, and they will single each other out for some perceived difference. However, children also have the unprecedented ability to move past that, sometimes rather quickly. Kids can even work with people that they do not like, an astonishing thought in the modern world.
Adults in the bizarro world do not seem to have this functionality that children have. While some adults (real adults) are able to maintain friendships with people who have differing opinions, the psuedo-adults of this world, on the left and on the right, do not have this ability. If you disagree with them on one point you are a “lefty”, “a communist” or a “Trumptard.” These people do not embrace freedom, they embrace speech that supports their position.
The Death of Class
For decades people on both sides of the aisle have clamored for a classless society. Eliminate the political class, the upper class, the poverty class, the criminal class or any of the castes that we have placed upon each other. Yet sometimes in a divine irony, we get what we deserve, not what we want. I believe that is what is happening now.
Our society has descended to the point where we cannot allow an hour to pass after the passing of a person before people are spouting hate or canonizing them. The number of times I saw “I hope she burns in hell,” last night from supposed Christians was sickening. Regardless of her actions here on earth, you hope that she will find the Lord in death. Condemning someone’s actions is necessary to confront evil, to condemn a person is evil in itself.
There once was a bishop leading a conclave. It was somewhere in the Middle East. A Muslim column was wiped out because of some natural phenomenon. When the bishop called for the conclave to pray for the dead, one of the priests challenged him saying, “but these are Saricans, not Christians, why should we pray for them?” The bishop simply replied, “We pray for the dead not because they were Christians, but because we are Christians and it is our way.”
The Divine Irony
If you are having trouble with this logic, perhaps Christ said it better, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44). Millions were persecuted through the decisions handed down by RBG. While you are praying for those who lost their lives, pray, too, for the repose of the souls of your enemies. (Matthew 5:47).
I in no way condone the actions committed in life by Justice Ginsburg relating to the death of the unborn and the denial of rights to law abiding Americans. But I can pray that she finds peace in death. I hope that as a nation, we can rise above the hate and follow the example of Christ, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
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